Just Cause 3
The explosions are amazing, and it's fun in short bursts, but Just Cause 3 is ultimately an unremarkable, shallow experience.
Just Cause 3 is a playground where you get to be a physics-defying force of destruction, and its loop of liberating dozens of towns across this enormous scenic world would've gotten old much quicker if the combat wasn't so full of options for free-form mayhem. Getting the most out of it requires some creativity and tolerance for performance bugs on your part, so come expecting to make at least some of your own fun. It's a damn shame so many performance problems and punishing load times keep cropping up [on the PS4 and XB1 versions], because I love what Just Cause 3 does. But for game that's so heavily dependent on action to run this poorly is no laughing matter. [OpenCritic note: Dan Stapleton separately reviewed the PC (8) and PS4/XB1 (5.9) versions. Their scores have been averaged.]
A bombastically enjoyable action game with serious performance issues gets spread too thinly over a vast map.
A chaotic action romp, tragically let down by repetition and padding. There's fun to be had, but all too little variety in its huge open world.
The core action is explosively silly in all the best ways, but the controls, missions, and story structure are all disappointingly underdeveloped.
Blowing up everything loses its anarchic thrill after several dozen times, but it's still a blast
Just Cause 3 is a stunning display of cause and effect, despite weak story missions and occasional technical problems.
If you can judge a game based on the moments that make you put it down for the night, Just Cause 3 is hard to criticize: I only stopped when I needed to sleep, not because I wanted to put the game down. The "did you see that?!" factor seems unlimited here, and it kept me coming back to discover what unexpected domino of explosions I could start next with a single grenade. The formula of the Just Cause series hasn't been expanded, but it has been improved. And it's rare that a game is so comfortable in its own skin.
Enjoyable enough to make up for its manifold flaws, but technical issues hold it back.
Rico's third adventure stays the course, but at least this course involves slingshotting cows off of cliffs.